Meet The Traders: ‘Film’s not dead’ campaigning for the future of film photography

 

Tori Khambhaita at Film’s not dead stall in the Backyard Market Pic: Marwa Amer

From an amateur blog celebrating vintage photography to a professional business campaigning for the future of analog cameras, Film’s Not Dead is challenging the success of digital image making.

Tori Khambhaita, 25, originally started Film’s Not Dead seven years ago as a blog to write about photography exhibitions and news within the analog photography community.

The company now buys and sells vintage cameras online from their office in Camden and owns a stall at the Backyard Market in Brick Lane, East London.

Film photography has been Khambhaita’s hobby since she was a teenager. She used to spend time taking pictures of people and street scenes.

She started her blog in 2010 when the digital cameras were dominating the market.  She soon saw an increase in the numbers of enthusiasts for film photography and the started to build a community.

Khambhaita decided to establish the company in 2012 to serve this growing community and to make sure vintage photography was kept alive amidst a massive decline in sales and usage of analog cameras.

Khambhaita told ELL: “We wanted to help people and make sure that we are serving the survival of analog cameras, to provide it to the next generation of photographers to make sure film photography being kept alive and used by the next generations, not just the previous ones.”

Khambhaita founded the company with two of her friends – Charlie Abbiss, 26, the head of digital marketing and graphics for Film’s Not Dead and Jamie Rothwell, 24, who deals with online sales.

When they began the business, many around them predicted its failure because of the rise of digital cameras. However, their determination appears to have led to a success story.

Khambhaita believes the analog cameras business is better than ever before.

“When we started, we bit felt that we were on the rocks. People were quite doubtful about what we are doing but we did it because we are passionate about film photography. Now actually it’s getting better we have more people want to shoot films, especially young people and millennials who have the curiosity to experience this vintage equipment and old look.”

A collection of analog cameras made in the 1900s displayed for the public Pic: Marwa Amer

Film’s Not Dead has a wide customer base ranging from amateurs to working professionals and from film photography students to vintage camera collectors.

Khambhaita says the company’s aim is to make sure everybody is comfortable shooting film by offering distinctive service.

“We buy and sell analog vintage cameras that we refurbish, clean and test. We also give a one-year guarantee with our cameras. When we started this project it was quite hard to find and buy analog cameras and we couldn’t find anyone offering guarantees which we found it tricky,” she said.

Film’s not dead provides photography magazines and publications Pic: Marwa Amer

 

You can find Film’s not Dead at weekends in the Backyard Market in Brick Lane.

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